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Rachmaninov, S: Isle of the Dead (The) / Symphonic Dances
 
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Rachmaninov, S: Isle of the Dead (The) / Symphonic Dances

1 Jan. 2005 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
22:58
30
2
12:40
30
3
9:40
30
4
14:58
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2005
  • Release Date: 1 Jan. 2005
  • Label: LPO
  • Copyright: (C) 2005 LPO
  • Total Length: 1:00:16
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002F834YO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,587 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steen Mencke on 15 Nov. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Having thoroughly enjoyed Vladimir Jurowski's discs of Prokofiev and Shostakovich symphonies (for PentaTone Classiscs) I thought I'd take a closer look at his other recordings, which, on the whole, I find to be very deeply felt as well as beautifully executed. There is great imagination as well as great attention to detail to be found in this young Russian maestro, and I congratulate my island-EU-cousins on landing this fine catch of a conductor to lead the sumptuous LPO.

This disc represents Jurowski's first recording of Rachmaninov, and in both works, separated in the composer's oeuvre by no less than thirty-one years and yet so well suited for each other, he goes straight to the heart of the matter, which to me remains the apotheosis of emotion and a prevailing aristocratic elegance so essential to Rachmaninov. There is a silky smoothness to the "Isle of the Dead" that brings out the majesty as well as the eerie calm of the boating-theme, and though the composer once stated (to Stokowski, I think) that this and the more belligerent center-theme should contrast like "a struggle of life and death", it is really nice to experience the fighting done without the biting and hair-pulling so common in other recordings. Actually I find myself hard put to it to propose a version to rival this one for the top spot. I will, however, after due consideration put forward the last recording (1995) of that astute interpreter of the Russian romantics Evgeny Svetlanov (Warner Music) for consideration, though it is of course slightly less well recorded. Ashkenazy and Maazel can't seriously compete on this level.

Rachmaninov was a master orchestrator, and though the Symphonic Dances started out as a work for two pianos the orchestra version never fails to bring the house down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor VINE VOICE on 28 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
The second SACD from LPO is even better than the first one (Shostakovich). There are much less non musical noises and, appropriately, Jarowski produces a completely different orchestral texture than Masur. LPO sounds like big lump of sound in The Isle of the Dead, building up slowly towards the central climax and dropping naturally back to the opening march rhythm, still full of tension and suspense. But in the Symphonic Dances the orchestra shines in much better light than with Masur.

Symphonic dances are meant to be an orchestral showpiece, and LPO players are top notch. Not just secure and accurate, they shade and paint every section and movement appropriately and the piece as a whole is bursting with energy. Jarowski keeps his players at the edges of their seats and manages to produce a distinct Slavic feel throughout, especially in the second movement making the waltz sounding like homage to Tchaikovsky. Even if this is the first available recording of these two pieces on SACD in Europe, it is a clear first choice.

The recording serves them well too. Thanks to the shorter timing LF channel is added, but it is still 4.1. Similar to the Shostakovich disc, hall acoustics are neutralised, but there are no occasional gaps in the middle. Just a bit of depth and perspective is missing (the other disc is slightly better in that respect), this one sounds like a good stereo recording even when listened in MC and it is recorded a bit closer. Lower range is distinct and solid, but the high strings in forte suffer from some shrillness, due to lack of space around them. All things concerned, it is a solid 4 star recording.
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